21 August 2009

Embrace the chaos

I almost had a mental breakdown today.

Life with any children is difficult, but I'll tell you--life with these three children of mine is really throwing me for a loop.

My plan this morning was organized and simple. Or so it seemed. Wake up, eat a good breakfast, read scriptures, spend twenty minutes with Jillian Michaels, get the kids ready and take them to the free admission before noon day at the Lane County fair where could see animals, get cotton candy, have lunch at a nearby park and head home for naptime and quiet time.

That was how the morning went in my head. Here's how it really went:

While nursing Henry, I noticed his diaper had leaked all over my sheets, requiring me to strip the bed down to throw in the wash. While I was giving him a bath (much needed due to the leakage), the boys decided to make a "tent" in the living room which was really just a giant pile of all the couch cushions and every pillow in our house for them to jump into.

With the bath done and Henry tired, I figured I could get him to sleep, fit in a workout and shower while the boys were playing in their tent and we could leave just after 11 to make sure we got there by noon.

BUT putting Henry to sleep took way longer than usual and the boys had a couple of fighting meltdowns in the meantime--usually screaming for me just as baby had drowsy eyes, therefore waking him up again, which is of course why it took longer than usual.

AND of course on this day when I needed him to take a short nap, Henry decided to sleep for a long time and I decided to ditch the fair idea, except that the boys were already so excited about seeing all the animals and getting cotton candy.

SO after a pitiful little workout(Jillian would be disappointed), I find myself yelling at Owen from inside my frantic shower to get his clothes on by the time I get out or we wouldn't go, and James yelling back how that wasn't fair because HIS clothes were on and why should he not be able to go just because Owen wasn't listening and my empty threats that if everyone didn't stop crying and screaming we wouldn't go at all, I threw on a wrinkled outfit and snatched Henry from his peaceful slumber to have his arms wrangled into the freaking car seat buckles and ran out the house.

WELL, in the end, we didn't make it to the fair before noon because we hit every single red light on the way and the free parking lot was full by the time we arrived. Since wandering around looking at stinky animals is only worth it to me if it is free and not when it costs $7/person entry fee and $5 parking fee, our morning ended about one block from the fair where I had to pull over to feed a screaming Henry, passing snacks to the boys in the back seat, all the while telling them I knew it was pretty annoying that we came all the way down here to turn around and go back home.

We did end up having a consolation black bottom cupcake and caramel brownie from the best bakery in town, and so while I completely negated my pitiful workout with chocolate, I came to the conclusion that making plans in this phase of my life just makes it more stressful, and that I need to just embrace the chaos and have no expectations. It is definitely easier said than done. I'm sure there will be many more days like this in the meantime, and I will try not to go completely crazy.

As I buckled all the kids into the van outside the bakery, I looked over and saw a couple in a very expensive BMW with two expensively groomed dogs parked next to us. I watched them back out and drive away and wondered how their morning went compared to mine.

Embrace the chaos. I'll keep telling myself that.


Anonymous said...

Have I told you how much I luv and miss you so much! I read this and just imagined you telling this story to me...and I almost started to cry!
days like this can be so stressful, yet so insightful (is that the right word?) you get it...


I will not complain about Ethan's new habit of coming in to our bed every night sometime between 1:30 and 3am and again when he wakes up before 8am.
I don't think I would have a leg to stand on compared to your morning.
Glad you got some Sweet Life goodness to ease the pain.
And pay no attention to the couple in the BMW. Your boys are way cuter and more rewarding in the long run. Not that I'm trying to compare your kiddos to dogs.
I'll just stop talking now.
Hope your day is better tomorrow.
PS: Jillian rocks.
Ok, that's it.

- Jennifer

Tara said...

Chaos indeed! You poor girl! I don't know how you do it with 3. I am barely surviving with 2!

P.S. Did I ever tell you I got your bag and I love it? I use it for primary. I was just organizing my bags today and couldn't remember if I ever thanked you. so I am sorry and thank you!

Em said...

that's why we need to live closer, i guess. i bet with 2 mamas and 4 babies, we could've made it happen :)

Shannan said...

As a fellow Oregon mother of three boys, I KNOW AND UNDERSTAND the chaos of life.

That is now our motto "Embrace the chaos".

Know that one hour north of you in good 'ol Salem there is as much choas happening as there is in your neck of the woods!

Someday we'll meet up again :)

Aimee Fuller said...

If I only could have been a fly on the wall to help me prepare for life with 3 kids. Luckily I have awhile before I need to worry but with kids as cute as yours...I guess the chaotic days are worth it. Hope tomorrow's better.

Jen I said...

Ugh. I have been in major break down mode this week too. At least I felt better when my husband came home early one day and was just as flustered and ornery with the kids as I am by the end of the day. So I guess I am just not sure how to embrace the bad mood that accompanies all the chaos...

Ilene said...

I dream of being able to leave the house. My kids don't know there is stuff beyond the park and pool in our subdivision.

Glad you treated yourself to Sweet Life.

And those BMW people have just as much poop to clean up after as you do.

Jaclyn said...

Sorry the day didn't go as you had planned, it never really does with kids. I don't want to you to think that I enjoyed your bad day but it did make me feel better about myself because that is how I feel every time I try to have something planned with the girls. Barnes & Noble has free storytime at 10am every Wed. I have tried several times this summer to get the girls fed, dressed and out the door by 9:50 so we can make it but it has yet to happen. Like you said, I have given up on expectations because they cause too much stress (or all of us). Hang in there friend, hopefully it will get better for us one of these days. And you DEFINITELY deserved a stop at the bakery. I hope you bought yourself two things, cause you deserved it.

Jessica said...

I love your posts. I'm glad you were able to fit one in amid the excitement. I foresee sainthood in your near future.